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Response to Tom McMillin's Mailer: His Pants Are on Fire!

Tom McMillin on taxing seniors' pensions.

This time of year we get a lot of political postcards and some of them do stretch the truth but the one I saw today from Tom McMillin earns a “Liar Liar Pants on Fire” award. In bold letters he says “When some politicians in Lansing wanted to tax your pension, Tom McMillin said “No.””

Really? Perhaps they didn’t hear you Tom because it was recorded as a “yes” vote. Don’t believe me? Go to www.michiganvotes.org and check out HB 4361 and HB4362, you can also read an in depth analysis of the fiscal impacts of this bill.

Now you can argue the pros and cons of this bill but the reality is that it DID raise taxes on many seniors. It also raised taxes on low income working poor, predominately working women with children. Now, some may say he was doing what he had to do to put the economy back on track- but that isn’t what he campaigned on. He signed Grover Norquist’s pledge to never raise taxes. And now he is just flat out lying by saying he didn’t raise taxes on seniors. Now to be fair, he points out in his flyer that if you were 67 or older your taxes didn’t go up (some of your exemptions may have gone away so they may go up in the end) but if you are under 67 and receiving a pension it may be subject to taxes. So, if you took an early buyout or were encouraged to retire early, too bad!

What burns my britches is that he campaigns the issue of not raising taxes but when in office he does another and then tries to pretend it didn’t happen. Many people won’t know the full impact of this tax increase until the spring when they file their tax returns which would be too late to boot McMillin out of office if he was re-elected for his final two year term as State Representative.

Please examine the records carefully before voting this November. www.Michiganvotes.org is a great tool to see what your legislators are doing and the status of many bills. It is a valuable resource for clarity in a cluttered world.

I have also attached a copy of the mailer.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mike Reno October 26, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Marty, if I'm not mistaken, you live in precinct 3. I don't think that you would be voting for (or against) Tom. Pretty interesting that you would receive his mailer, given that you don't live in his district, and would not have come up on the sort criteria for age.
Daryl Patrishkoff October 26, 2012 at 10:03 AM
How about some facts about taxing pensions? This will get in the way of the rhetoric that is being tossed around in these posts. Most states tax pensions like all other ordinary income, there is a threshold level where they have to pay taxes and there are additional deductions for being over a certain age. The State of Michigan incorporated this same system seen across the country and now some of these special interest groups have to pay their “fair share”. In Michigan many retirees had to pay taxes on their pensions all along, now this special group has to be like the rest of them and they are making noise. How about the people that are retired and do not have a pension? They pay taxes on their income at the normal rate like everyone else. These complaints are about the special interest group that did not pay taxes on their pension. Now they have to be like the rest of us and pay their “fair share”. I thought we did not like special interest groups and we want everyone to pay their “fair share”?
Laura October 26, 2012 at 10:47 AM
How about a state rep that doesn't send out false information to constituents? I seem to remember Mr Patrishkoff harping on the city council for weeks about confusing campaign literature regarding the police millage.
Laura October 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Eve, according to Tom and Mike they wake up every day and make the CHOICE to not be gay and get a room together.
Daryl Patrishkoff October 26, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Laura, I have not seen this mailer and will not jump to conclusions based on what is said in these comments. If I see the mailer and believe it is false I will speak up, just like I did with our Rochester Hills mayor and city council. The difference is, in the Rochester Hills mailer it was paid for by our tax dollars. They made false claims using our money to sell a tax increase to us, this is a real problem. I am not sure, but this mailer from McMillin might have been paid by his campaign. If it was paid for by his campaign, he has the right to state anything he cares; the reader needs to check to see if it is truthful.
Bruce Fealk October 26, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Daryl, the mailer was paid for by Tom's campaign, and the fact that Tom said no to a tax increase on seniors is not true. Tom admitted at a town hall meeting that it was a tax increase, but since there was an overall tax decrease, he claims to have kept his pledge to the radical right. The truth is the tax increase on seniors and poor people was a large redistribution of wealth from the most vulnerable in Michigan to the wealthiest in Michigan.
Bruce Fealk October 26, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Here is the mailer. http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm147/bfealk1/McMillinMailerSide1.jpg http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm147/bfealk1/SCAN0232_zpsc7b9d4f0.jpg
Mike Reno October 26, 2012 at 12:44 PM
So they raised pension taxes on people 67 and older? Tom said they did not... and you are saying he is wrong? Help us to understand the falsehood...
Marty Rosalik October 26, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Precinct 3 exactly. I've been to various campaign and other web sites to look at available maps. Last time I looked District 45 maps still covered all of Oakland Twp. But I thought the districts were re-drawn. I am still recieving mail from Tom. I thought I did not have Tom any more and now I'm just not sure. Now another site that was not updated for me was Mike Rogers. Last time I was on his site I put in my zip code and the site said I was NOT in his district. So I guess I will see who is on my ballot soon.
Bruce Fealk October 26, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Mike, the lie is in the headline. So let me get this straight. Tom is trying to make the case that he protected seniors 67 and older from having their taxes raised so he's supposed to be a hero, when everyone below 67 and was counting on not having their pensions taxed sees a huge tax increase? Why doesn't the headline specify that only those 67 and older didn't see their taxes raised? Tom did agree to raise taxes on retirees and poor people who counted on the full EITC. How is that not a tax increase?
Ed October 26, 2012 at 01:00 PM
I think I have Kerry Bentivolio and Tom McMillin on my ballot. I thought I lived in Michigan not Mississippi.
Diane Young October 26, 2012 at 01:07 PM
http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billanalysis/House/pdf/2011-HLA-4361-8.pdf Here is the analysis of the issue from Michiganvotes.org.
Daryl Patrishkoff October 26, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Bruce, Thanks for posting these links, not sure what all the noise is about. He did not raise taxes on this group, but he did get the special interest group pay taxes on their pensions like the rest of us. I call that them paying their "Fair Share" like the rest of us. Technically he did raise taxes on this special interest group, but the rest of us got a tax decrease. You are playing with words to fit your own personal agenda. Explain to me why a special interest group should not pay what the rest of us do in taxes on our pensions and retirement income?
Ryan October 26, 2012 at 01:18 PM
So GM, Chrysler employees who have been laid off are a special interest group? Pretty big chunk of this community Tom is attacking.
Daryl Patrishkoff October 26, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Ryan, It is about treating all retirees the same, not some getting better treatment than others. My dad is a GM retiree and paid taxes on his pension for over 20 years until the threshold number put him in the category of no taxes. There are plenty of people who do not have pensions, but have retirement income and they have to pay taxes on that income. As things evolve, there will be less people on pensions and on their own retirement plan, why should they be the only ones paying taxes on their retirement income? This is a fairness issue, no special deals and we all pay our fair share.
Ryan October 26, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Daryl, do you make this stuff up as you go along? The tax increase applies to income from private pensions, 401(k)s and IRAs for an individual retiree. This covers all retirees. Private and Public.
Mike Reno October 26, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Daryl, the mailer is accurate. It's that some people appear to be having a problem reading and understanding it. Or they don't like the message, and are twisting the meaning. Maybe this mailer cost him Bruce and Diane's vote? Maybe if he had worded things differently? :-)
Daryl Patrishkoff October 26, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Ryan, I am not making this stuff up. Diane put up a great document that outlines changes. This shows Public Pensions were 100% deductible before this change, but Private Pensions were deductable under the $45k / $90k amount single/joint. It now shows that Public Pensions are no longer 100% deductable, and they have to pay taxes like the Private Pensions. This is the special group that lost it’s special treatment. This is the group making all of the noise because they lost their special treatment. Go to page 4 of 9 and view Table 3 and you will see all the details under these headings. Treatment Prior to PA 38 of 2011 (Tax Year 2011) Treatment Under PA 38 of 2011 (Beginning in Tax Year 2012) The only special interest groups now that do not have to pay taxes on their pensions are Military and Railroad Pensions. How do you feel about these special interest groups getting different treatment?
Brian Kirksey October 26, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Ah but the flier said he voted no, when in fact he voted yes,,,at the debate he called it a tax "shift". The post is about McMillin and honesty.
Brian Kirksey October 26, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Other news from McMillin front, his campaign is financed my Matty Maroun. His recent campaign disclosures show Matty has contributed heavily to this campaign...hmm wonder how he will vote on that one?
Mike Reno October 26, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Where does it say that he voted no? As I recall, there was some talk of taxing ALL pensions. Tom was one of the leaders that sought -- and won -- exemption for those above 67. Of course, the scan copy is pretty bad here. But I couldn't find the passage were it says Tom VOTED no.
Marty Rosalik October 26, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Brian, he "only" got $1000 from them. I think they are maxed out now for this election cycle. http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/contrib_anls_res.cgi?doc_seq_no%3D364676%26doc_stmnt_year%3D2012%26com_id%3D513757%26doc_date_proc%3D10/26/2012%26sched%3D1A%26doc_type_code%3DG1%26caller%3Dcf_online
Bruce Fealk October 26, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Let's not forget the $1250 he got from the Great Lakes Education Project, whose main funders are Dick and Betsy DeVos. http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/contrib_anls_res.cgi?doc_seq_no%3D364676%26doc_stmnt_year%3D2012%26com_id%3D513757%26doc_date_proc%3D10/26/2012%26sched%3D1A%26doc_type_code%3DG1%26caller%3Dcf_online Maybe that's why he's such a big fan of charter schools.
Mike Reno October 27, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Perhaps a GLEP recommendation helps to contrast the differences. The DeVos family cares deeply about education, and attempts to put children first in the decision making process. They put their money where their mouth is, and it is likely that they back Tom because he has backed legislative efforts to improve education options for children. JVR, on the other hand, is MEA backed, and is more interested in compensation and benefits for adults, without any regard whatsoever about the negative impact it has on the education of our children, or it's impact on a payers. Education and children take a backseat to adult employee issues. I'll take GLEP over MEA any day of the week.
Bruce Fealk October 27, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Mike, I didn't know you were a comedian. The DeVos family is interested in one thing, greed. They support the for profit education industry where we give taxpayer dollars to private for-profit corporations that pay big salaries to their executives and don't report their salaries, which is the law in Michigan. http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/target_8/do-charter-schools-play-by-same-rules
Kristin Bull (Editor) October 27, 2012 at 01:39 AM
@Marty - did you try the site www.Publius.com? You should be able to input your name and city and see your exact ballot. Try it - see what it says.
Mike Reno October 27, 2012 at 02:55 AM
How many hundreds of millions does the MEA extort from ou teachers, Bruce? A professional teacher cannot work at a public school in Michigan without being forced, one way or another, to contribute some $700+ per year to the MEA. No option... The MEA, in turn, pays it's executives $300K+ annually. Of course, it's for the kids, right? And this is the group that gave $5K to JVR. A donation that seems to dwarf the GLEP donation. To follow your line of thinking... No wonder she supports Prop 2.
Marianne Maurer October 27, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Wow Mike, you really hold tremendous distain for the MEA. I can assure you they are not holding teachers hostage as you somewhat imply. Like the State House in Lansing they have areas they can work on, and public conversation can bring that about. I believe the executives at BCBS that give to your guy's war chest make in excess of $300 grand. Certainly no more deserved then the chiefs at MEA, that is the organizations battle and not ours. Joanna supports public schools and is proud to say so. She talks to Educational Leaders and teachers to find out how she can help promote RCS in Lansing. She understands that you must know your community before you can represent them. Jobs, the economy, hospitals, human rights, and small businesses are what she has been learning about for the past year. Yes, the places that are a part of the community she hopes to represent. She has spent thousands of hours meeting with people in our district, talking about our district. Joanna is by far the best person for the job. She has a huge support system who wants someone who cares about this community. If folks do the right thing and vote a split ticket she will win. If they take the time and put politics aside Rochester will send a fighter to Lansing. It is a refreshing thought, and as I tell my students "Anything is possible if you work for it!" Mike, relax and smile a little ,you will enjoy life a bit more!
Chris Gill October 27, 2012 at 10:30 AM
So true Bruce. They love their children perhaps, but they don't love mine. Mike my MEA dues (from MY salary, not my districts purse) pays these MEA executives' salaries. I am OK with it, why do you care so much, it's not your money? I can opt out of a healthy chunk of my dues by the way, I choose not to do that. Any member can if they choose too. There aren't many that choose to though, gee I wonder why? I personally would give Joanna the max donation that I could if I were a well heeled, small to medium business woman. This is not about protecting my "fat" pension benefits *cough, cough* but more about protecting the public education system that our children need.
doug October 27, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Bruse: You really show your colors with comments like these. The Devos family has given tens of millions of dollars to charity and is one of the biggest reasons Grand Rapids is the best large city in the State of Michigan. Ask people in Grand Rapids what they think of the Devos family and you get alot different picture than you are portraying. Even if you don't agree with them, your left wing characterization of them basically taints your comments. .

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